Avoiding airport x-ray machines – it ain’t so bad!

Airport security lines, Photo by alist, Flickr

Just returned from a visit with friends and family this past weekend. Always nice to get away for a bit.

At the airport, as I was about to go through security, my mind swung back to the recent article I did on airport x-ray machines. As I stepped into the scanner, I told the TSA rep I didn’t want to be scanned and asked for an alternative.

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New airport x-ray machines could pose cancer risk

Thirteen years ago, a panel of radiation safety experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration gathered at a hotel in Maryland to test a new device – the Secure 1000 – that could detect hidden weapons and contraband by beaming X-rays at people to see beneath their clothing.

The experts agreed this device shouldn’t be in general use as it violated the longstanding principle in radiation safety that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit. The machine’s inventor assured the group that since only 20 machines were currently in use, it probably wouldn’t see widespread use anytime soon.

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